Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by DeLoach Therapy Services.
5 Tips for Fostering Good Developmental Skills in Babies
Having a baby and becoming a new mom is an exciting journey! At DeLoach Therapy Services, we are here to serve you and your family with pediatric occupational and physical therapy services. We’ve put together some tips to help you implement helpful habits that encourage proper development for your child. Remember, not all children progress at the same pace, and that is okay! However, if you feel your child may be falling behind or may need a little extra help, we are here to support you in a variety of ways.
Here are Five Tips for Fostering Good Developmental Skills in Babies::
1. You may have heard of the term “tummy time”. Tummy time is allowing your child time to play while laying on their tummies. This is very important for proper development! We encourage you to get down on baby’s level and encourage them to look up at you. Shake a rattle, call their names, or anything else that catches their attention. Play mats with hanging toys are also great to have for this time. The toys will encourage your baby to look upwards, strengthening their head control. They will eventually begin to prop up on their arms, too, developing upper body strength!
2. Keep a developmental milestone checklist! These checklists are readily available on the internet. While your baby may not progress alongside the checklist to a T and a little variance is okay, a checklist will help you identify developmental delays sooner rather than later. If you feel like your child may need outside services or you feel you want a professional’s opinion, no worries! A physical or occupational therapist can evaluate your child and assist with early intervention.
3. Playing with food is a good thing! Letting your child touch, squish, crush, or make crafts with their foods allows them to discover different textures, temperatures, and smells. Exploring foods increases their confidence to try new snacks and meals. If your child is having more trouble than expected with feeding time, contact an occupational therapist. We work with babies who have/have had tongue and lip ties, picky eaters, and children who may be sensitive to textures or need oral motor strengthening.
4. Allow your toddler the opportunity to try things on their own. Allowing them to take part in dressing themselves, feeding themselves, or even helping with household chores will improve their confidence and independence. We work to improve activities of daily living in our clients, such as dressing skills, toileting, personal hygiene, handwriting, and more!
5. Allow your child to explore their environment! Give your baby floor time to explore touching and feeling different surfaces and objects. Avoid “containers” for an extended period of time. Baby equipment such as swings, bouncers, walkers, and playpens are convenient, fun, and certainly okay! It can, however, limit the child’s opportunity to explore their body in space when kept contained for too long. Let your child explore and discover!
Beth received her B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette, Louisiana and her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas. Beth has over 19 years’ experience in Occupational Therapy in the school system, early intervention (Early Steps), and private outpatient pediatric therapy. She works with a variety of children’s disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, feeding disorders, and Developmental Delay among other disabilities. She applies many treatment approaches such as Handwriting Without Tears, Behavioral Management, Sensory Therapy, and MRNI Reflex Therapy, therapeutic listening and Interactive Metronome. She lives in Lafayette, Louisiana with her husband, Bryant and three sons, Thomas, Taylor and Luke.